SF supervisor candidate who referred to journalist as NAZI, denies voter fraud allegations
SAN FRANCISCO – A candidate for San Francisco supervisor who referred to a Jewish journalist as a “NAZI,” spoke out Wednesday evening, disputing allegations of voter fraud.
Leanna Louie is both under fire and under investigation.
With her attorney present, she spoke with KTVU in a one-on-one interview at her campaign office in the Sunset District.
She laid out a timeline and paperwork she says are proof of where she lives.
Louie disputed allegations that she may have committed voter fraud and that she may not live in the district she’s running to represent.
“I’m confident I did nothing wrong, and I’m sure everything will be just fine, and I’ll be on the ballot,” said Louie.
The City Attorney’s Office is investigating Louie following articles written by Mission Local Managing Editor Joe Eskenazi questioning why she voted in a district different from the one she had registered in and if her primary resident is in the district she’s running to represent.
“He kept writing lies about me. They are half-truths. If he’s truly a journalist, he would give me a chance to tell him my side and provide evidence,” Louie said.
Feeling anger and frustration, Louie said she wrote a post on social media capitalizing the last four letters of journalist Eskenazi’s last name, spelling “NAZI.”
“It’s unfortunate now that part of our political culture is rather than respond the allegations, the impulse to attack the journalist. It is wildly problematic,” said Corey Cook, professor of politics at St. Mary’s College.
He said it’ll be up to the city attorney’s office to determine if the allegations are true.
“Are you legally eligible to be a candidate in your district,” Cook said. “That’s an empirical question that can be easily proven or disproved.”
Louie said she met with the deputy city attorney and an investigator for two and a half hours Monday.
She offered an apology to the journalist and those she offended.
“I made a mistake with by my Facebook post,” she said. “But as far as where I live, I know where I live. I know where I voted and I wouldn’t do otherwise.”
Eskenazi wrote in a statement to KTVU: “Sadly, Ms. Louie continues to make self-justifying, false and inflammatory statements…I believe this devalues any apology. “
She said she offered to meet with the journalist.
He has declined.
She said she’s continuing on with her campaign.
“It’s important for me to stay in the race because I feel Asian Americans have not had a true representative,” Louie said.
The city attorney has not said when the investigation will be done.
The election will be held Nov. 8.